It turns out that the stars are just like us . . . in that Katy Perry can really rub them the wrong way.
You know how Katy Perry’s been bragging about her $25 million paycheck for being a judge on the rebooted American Idol, as if her success means an end to the gender pay gap? It turns out that veteran American Idol judge Ryan Seacrest hasn’t liked what he’s been hearing.
He could even walk out over this.
Katy Perry’s a newcomer to American Idol — anyone else fondly remembering when that show was history? She’s a huge celebrity, sure, but she’s not bigger than a legend like J Lo.
And Ryan’s been with the show for ages, but his initial offer was apparently over $10 million. A great salary, sure, but after hearing Katy’s interview, it must have felt like an insult.
If you’re struggling to find a reason why she’d be so valuable as a judge, you’re not alone. Remember, Ryan Seacrest has been a staple of American Idol. At this point, that’s how a lot of younger people know who he is.
And let’s not forget that Ryan already has a job. He can focus on working at Live With Kelly And Ryan and keep his dignity. He’d get to avoid flying across the country every week.
Katy Perry, who’s no stranger to conflict with other celebrities, has been making it sound like her inflated salary’s all about feminism.
"I’m really proud that, as a woman, I got paid. And you know why? I got paid, like, more than like pretty much any guy that’s been on that show," she told 103.5 KTU.
We’d find that easier to believe if she were campaigning for women who struggle to make ends meet and are paid too little. But she’s just comparing herself to other celebrity salaries and that’s just boasting, right?
Besides, her salary might be less about empowering women and more about a desperate network that announced a new season before they had their full panel of judges. Whoops.
Look, Ryan’s no pauper and it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who’s essentially fuming because he disagrees about how many millions of dollars he’s worth.
At the same time, from his perspective, this is a brand new celebrity — a household name for less than a decade — swooping in and the network effectively saying that they value her more than they value his many years of dedication.
Money talks, you know?
And the fact that Ryan’s been around the block means that he, of course, has met Katy. And let’s just say that maybe she didn’t make the best impression.
It is nice to hear about women making more than their male costars, because it’s even rare among celebrities. Not every case of that is systemic sexism — some actors are just really good at promoting themselves and they get agents who push hard for big salaries.
Robert Downey Jr. kind of has that reputation, and tends to get paid more than his male costars, too.
That can’t really explain the gender pay gap at the non-celebrity level, where two accountants or managers or whatever with the same qualifications aren’t paid equally.
But one woman showing off how much she’s making isn’t going to change things. She could even be held up as a counterexample to "disprove" gender inequality. Probably not what she intended.
It’s always possible that Ryan is just trying to push for higher pay, feigning "anger" over Katy’s paycheck to boost his.
There’s no way to know for sure until this is resolved.